Profits of death

I was disappointed to find a full-page interim report for British American Tobacco published opposite the contents page (NS, 9 August). The same week I attended the funeral of a relative who died at 55 of lung carcinoma after smoking most of his life. I hope BAT's shareholders are pleased that my family's loss is their gain.

The death of many of my older relatives to this disease motivated me to pursue a career in medicine to fight the cause of so many unnecessary deaths. But the amounts spent on research and prevention of smoking-related deaths are overwhelmed by the marketing might of the tobacco industry. While I am not surprised at the depths to which the tobacco industry will sink for profits, I am saddened that the NS will publish what amounts to a gloating advertisement for BAT. Do you wish your profits to derive ultimately from the deaths of others?

Dr Alan Woodall
School of Medicine
University of Leeds